I downloaded TimeHop, then deleted it because it showed me just how many embarrassing things I’ve posted on social media in the past, oh, eight years. I then re-downloaded it because I saw just enough stuff that I was happy to be reminded of.
Recently, this semester in particular, I would always catch myself eager to see what Meg posted “4 YEARS AGO.” Why? Because “4 YEARS AGO” was the year from hell. And when I say hell, imagine your worst pet peeves and nightmares all jumbled into one. I would have rather been stuck in an elevator with snakes, spiders and no wine for that year than go through that again.
But you know what? Every single status or post was extremely inspirational and positive. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had a playlist on my phone of songs about coming up from the ashes and never giving up and seeing the bright side of things. The statuses were usually a compilation of lyrics from those songs. Yes, most of us are likely to only post happy things on social media, but back then I don’t think that was really the case.
So why would I delete an app that proves to me how one can be positive during an extremely negative and rough time?
Because living in the past never got anyone anywhere.
Let me repeat that, living in the past and being proud of what you accomplished or how you acted or who you helped yesterday, doesn’t mean a thing. Until you start repeating those things and making it a lifestyle and striving to do good daily, it won’t matter. Me being positive and hoping for the best, even though now I realize I was a bit naïve, doesn’t make me that same person today. Yes, watching my mother lose a fighting battle to the “c” word for months molded me and helped me become who I am today, but if I still feel how I felt that night of Dec. 3 and the months prior, I would be standing on a railroad track about to get hit by a train. I wouldn’t have made or be making any progress in becoming the person God wants me to be.
Well, why would I delete a silly app? To make me feel like I felt in those extremely trying and testing of faith days? To reminisce on good times with family and friends? To remind me that I made it through the most difficult time of my life thus far? I’m reminded that daily. I wouldn’t be even close to okay without the strength that God has given me every second of every minute of every hour of every day.
Every. Single. Day. I wonder HOW? HOW is everything “okay?” HOW am I not falling apart? HOW can I carry out day to day activities without feeling the hole that is inside of me? HOW did I graduate college? HOW am I even functioning? HOW are we all “okay” like we don’t have our own scars and hurts and demons?
I’ll give you a hint — we’re celebrating His birthday this month. THAT’S how.
I mentioned earlier about how we only share happy things on Facebook, and I take that back. I may just have the right Facebook friends, but I love how it has become “Prayerbook.” So many of my friends and family have gone through terrible, sad, heart-wrenching times lately. It breaks my heart. It makes me even more thankful that time heals, and that we are given the strength to deal with these tragedies.
This has been heavy on my heart lately, and I haven’t quite figured out how to say it in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m looking past people’s problems… but it will be “okay.” So many people told me the same thing four years ago and all I could do was laugh to keep from crying. I never though I’d be “okay.” I never thought the pain would go away, and it hasn’t, and never will, but it has eased. I’m able to talk more about it and not bottle it up. I’m able to use my troubles to help others. I’m able to not completely break down and not cancel all of my plans on December 3rd. I’m able to actually see how God gave me this burden for a reason. I’m able to see that the blessings far outweigh the difficulties. The good times more than outweigh the bad, and the sun will always come back out. We just have to stick it out and suck it up when the clouds come in.
I never thought I’d be sitting here, writing this on the eve of the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death, but I am.
We’ve all heard the saying that “God gives His toughest battles to his strongest soldiers,” followed by “I just wish He didn’t trust me so much!” Well, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that WE just have to trust HIM. One way or another everything always works out. Too bad we can’t see that in the midst of the storm.
That’s why I deleted my TimeHop App. I want to live in the present and appreciate what is happening right now. I want to make sure I live each day as if it were my last, because it very well could be. I want the people I love to know how much I love them and how truly grateful I am for every single person and thing in my life, because I wouldn’t be where I am without them. It’s nice to go back and be reminded of the good times, and bad times for that matter, but it’s even nicer to be completely content with where you are, right now, in this moment. Because this moment is all we’re guaranteed.
This mindset doesn’t happen in an instant, and I am nowhere near where I want to be or exactly who I want to be, but we’re all a work in progress and all we can do is strive to better ourselves and inspire the ones around us day by day.
If you’re wondering what the TimeHop App is, you can go to the iTunes app store to see a description.
Meg Earney is an Ole Miss graduate student and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more from Earney, visit her blog.